Theresa May’s Conservatives and their leader have taken a hard line on Brexit and Brexiters are now united against her.
Today marks a major turning point in Brexit negotiations and the political fightback against the hard line and divisive tone that has dominated the Brexit process since the beginning.
Theresa May has already made clear she wants a ‘hard Brexit’ with a ‘soft Brexit’ – but it will not be a deal which will be popular with the country, according to a new poll for The Times.
The poll, conducted for the Times by YouGov, found that a majority of those surveyed – 52 per cent – said they were “not sure” they wanted Brexit to remain in the single market and customs union, the single trade deal that brought the UK into the EU in 1973.
The Prime Minister also wants the UK to leave the single currency, and her negotiating position has changed over time as she has tried to win over more of the EU’s 27 members.
She has argued that this is because she wants to keep control of her own borders and trade, and has sought to portray herself as a negotiator and not a nationalist, as the Prime Minister put it on Sunday.
However, when asked to list three or four key issues which would be the most important for them to vote on, Brexiters were split on how they wanted the UK and EU to negotiate a new relationship, with the survey finding more than half (52 per cent) saying it would be very important for the two to agree on one.
That is despite the fact that the Government is working on a number of new issues, such as how to ensure the UK has a strong, secure border, how to tackle the scourge of illegal migration and the need to tackle climate change.
It is the first time that a public poll has asked Brexiters on the question of what they think they want from a new deal.
The survey found that the majority (57 per cent of those polled) want a deal to remain the single trading market and the customs union.
The UK, in particular, is not the only country to feel the strain of a Brexit vote.
In Norway, which is also negotiating its own Brexit deal, the Government has not ruled out a hard Brexit and a softer Brexit.
But the survey suggests that a vote for a softer arrangement would not necessarily be a vote to leave, as people in Britain, Norway and Germany do not want to leave either.
The polls also show that a huge majority of British people want to remain part of the European Union, despite the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Almost two-thirds (64 per cent), said they wanted to stay in the EU, but only 25 per cent said they did not want a ‘Hard Brexit’.
The results of the YouGov poll were based on 1,020 people aged 18+.
YouGov surveyed 1,007 people on Saturday.